Strikingly aromatic and beautifully balanced, this is a real dance between delicacy and power that unfolds dramatically on the palate with violets, blueberries, licorice and saffron. The 2015 is a streamlined Sangiovese with silky, yet firm tannins and vivid acidity running through heaps of mellow, mouth filling fruit.
Angelo Gaja, born in 1940, remains the alpha male of Italian winemaking, one of a long line of natural-born leaders and entrepreneurs. His father, Giovanni, was the political secretary for Barbaresco under Mussolini, and was so popular with the local citizenry that the Italian resistance never harmed him during WWII. Giovanni went on to become Mayor of Barbaresco from 1958 to 1983. For most of the postwar period, Giovanni worked as a construction manager all over Piedmont, and invested all of his earnings in land, while his mother, Clotilde Rey, AKA Tildin, ran the winery. By the time young Angelo entered the family business in 1961, the family owned 82 acres of prime vineyard land in Barbaresco and their brand was already well-known throughout Italy. In the following years, Angelo went on to build an Italian institution, adding estate vineyards in the Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, and Bolgheri appellations. Today Gaja [GUY-yuh] is arguably the most prestigious wine brand in Italy.
The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is beautifully balanced and elegant. The wine is successfully streamlined and focused on the nuanced characteristics of the otherwise warm and sunny 2015 vintage. Rennina is often considered to be the more lithe and graceful of Gaja's two Brunellos (the other being Sugarille that is also reviewed here). The bouquet opens to pretty berry nuances, blue flower, lavender, grilled herb and powdery licorice. Despite the more delicate approach, Rennina delivers ample power in the mouth with fresh acidity and tight tannins.